THE CREW

Over the years I’ve spent time on the trail with a number of hikers and backpackers. This is a small sampling, but these friends have made multiple trips with me in to the wilderness and offer up some of their best and worst experiences from the trail.

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ALEThe Artic FoxBirdShooterC.A.C.C. – The CamelCountry ClubThe CowboyDooRagDoughgirlFreedog Gator GirlThe GomiteHawkeye The HelmetIcemanThe JokerThe KiddLeehz MackieMonodeepMuscle JimThe OperatorOskieThe Ox PocahontasPixieRed EyeRockhopper – Reece – The RoosterThe SeekerThe SenatorThe Sheik SikleSisterSlawdogSloanerSmoky – Songbird – Soul GlowTamalamaTherm RiderWagonhammerThe WeaselWaterdogWhite LighteningWild TurkeyWorld Wide WandererYukon Matt

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ALE

http://n2backpacking.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/ale.jpg (443290 bytes) Why The Name? A nickname that’s a trail name by default.
Born: Marietta, Georgia
Resides:
Charlotte, North Carolina
Best Trip:
Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina – April 2000. “It was cold, but the views were great.”
Worst Trip:
Mt. Mitchell State Park, North Carolina – May 2001. “My knees took a beating on the decent.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina – April 2000. “It was 3am, snowing, and we sat around a campfire and watched two climbers scale a cliff in the distance with a full moon behind them.”

The Artic Fox

artic_fox.jpg (443290 bytes) Why The Name? She’s a “whitey”, and we nearly froze her to death on her first trip.
Born:
San Antonio, Texas
Resides:
Smyrna, Georgia
Best Trip:
Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina – May 1999. “I enjoyed the hike to Standing Indian and the sunset from the summit was spectacular.”
Worst Trip:
Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina – October, 1996. “I had a lot of fun on this trip … then around midnight I got sick.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina – October, 1996. “Sitting around the campfire at Siler Bald cooking dinner and making hot toddies.”

BirdShooter

birdshooter.jpg (233716 bytes) Why The Name? Let’s just say it has nothing to do with the middle finger.
Born:
Zanesville, Ohio
Resides:
Atlanta, Georgia
Best Trip:
Glacier National Park, Montana – July 1998. “Great scenery, great campsites, and lots of wildlife.”
Worst Trip:
Tusquitee Bald, North Carolina – June 1999. “It’s a jungle out there. The lack of trail maintenance and June heat/humidity made it a brutal hike.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
Denali National Park, Alaska – July 1995. “Walking into the side of a moose in dense brush in Denali.”
Dumbest Thing I Took On The Trail?: “A harmonica. You better play it well or you risk losing a few friends around the campfire.”

C.A. (Candy Andy)

candy_a.jpg (443290 bytes) Why The Name? Some ladies at a party once dubbed him “Eye Candy” Andy. His buddies changed it to “Candy Ass” Andy. “Candy A” or C.A. is a compromise of the two.
Born:
Green, Ohio
Resides: Munich, Germany
Best Trip:
Joyce Kilmer National Forest, North Carolina – October 2001. “It was an easy hike and we saw a bunch of shooting stars from the bald that night.”
Worst Trip: Denali National Park, Alaska – July 2000. “The brush in that canyon was brutal.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
Denali National Park, Alaska – July 2000. “Chasing my boots downstream on the Teklanika River for about half a mile.”

C.C.

cc.jpg (443290 bytes) Why The Name? It’s a nickname that’s a trail name by default.
Born:
Atlanta, Georgia
Resides:
Decatur, Georgia
Best Trip:
Shinning Rock Wilderness, North Carolina – October 1999. “The weather was perfect and it was pretty cool to hike to Shinning Rock and climb it.”
Worst Trip:
Chattooga National Scenic River, Georgia – June 2000. “I was hungover and the bugs were eating me alive.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina – October 1996. “The Kidd pointed out the view while we were hiking to a bald on the Appalachian Trail and told me that this is why it’s all worth it. It was my first backpacking trip.”

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The Camel

the_camel.jpg (443290 bytes) Why The Name? He can go for miles without drinking any water, no matter how hot or humid the weather.
Born: Coventry, England
Resides:
Charlotte, North Carolina
Best Trip:
Chilkoot Trail, Alaska/B.C./Yukon – July 2001 – “Where else can you hike from one country to another and see the bare butt of an 80 year old senator from the Yukon.”
Worst Trip:
Uhwarrie National Forest, North Carolina – April 1995 – “It rained and we had to bail out and get a motel room.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
Denali National Park, Alaska – June 2000. “I fell in to the Class V/VI canyon rapids of the Teklanika River and thought it was all over.”
Dumbest Thing I Took On The Trail:
“My first backpack that was given to me by an old roommate. It was three sizes too small and about chocked me to death.”

Country Club

Country Club

Why The Name? On our first hike, he showed up with a collared shirt and looked ready for an afternoon at the Country Club.
Born: LA (Lower Alabama)
Resides:
Charlotte, North Carolina
Best Trip:
Beaverstone Bay, Northern Ontario – June 2007 – “Great scenery, great wildlife, and a great group. Just a solid trip in general.”
Worst Trip:
Appalachian Trail, Crocker Mountains, Maine – October 2012 – “My shoulder strap ripped from the seams of my pack at the start of the hike. Then we hiked in the rained for the next eight hours – eventually bailing on our planned campsite for a motel room in town.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
Beaverstone Bay – June 2007 – “Seeing a black bear near the Mazenazing River in Northern Ontario and taking a National Geographic worthy photo of it.”
Dumbest Thing I Took On The Trail: Appalachian Trail, Crocker Mountains, Maine – October 2012 – “My 40 lb. pack – we hiked for 8 hours and I hardly used it. ” (see Worst Trip details above)

The Cowboy

Why The Name? He likes to hike in a cowboy hat.
Born:
Zanesville, Ohio
Resides:
Zanesville, Ohio
Best Trip:
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado – October 1, 1993. “It was cold but when the late afternoon sun hit the river and lit up those aspen leaves, I knew why I came.”
Worst Trip:
Ellis Lock #11, Muskingum River, Ohio – May 16, 1986. “We hiked and camped at Ellis Dam frequently and I have a lot of good memories from the place but on this trip I nearly fell off the lock and landed in the river.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
“Watching BirdShooter fish for trout in Rocky Mountain National Park (and catch nothing.)”

DooRag

doorag.jpg (443290 bytes) Why The Name? He wore a DooRag on his first trip with us into the backcountry.
Born:
London, England
Resides:
Atlanta, Georgia
Best Trip:
Panthertown Valley, North Carolina – July 2003. “A great day hike, excellent camping and wonderful scenery.”
Worst Trip:
Chattahoochee National Forest – November 2003. “Still a great trip, but a blinding hangover, car sick dog and flat tire took the spirit out of it.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
“Carrying the Gomite back to our campsite across a 200 foot suspension bridge.”
Dumbest Thing I Took On The Trail: “Two bottles of red wine – for medicinal purposes of course.”

Doughgirl

doughgirl.jpg (443290 bytes) Why The Name? She makes a mean doughboy.
Born:
Norfolk, Virginia
Resides:
Atlanta, Georgia
Best Trip:
Cumberland Island National Park, Georgia – October 2001. “Lots of wildlife … especially armadillos.”
Worst Trip:
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia – May 1999. “It was a death march and one of those hikes that starts by going downhill … meaning you have to go uphill at the end. It was very hot and our only beverage was a half bottle of warm Gatorade.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment: “Hiking alone in Sequoia and suddenly seeing a black bear lumbering in my direction.”
Dumbest Thing I Took On The Trail:
“A pumpkin – it’s very hard to carry although a jack-o-lantern leering at you from the woods is pretty cool.”

Freedog

Why The Name? It’s a derivation of his last name given during grad school.
Born:
Daytona Beach, Florida
Resides:
Atlanta, Georgia
Best Trip:
Beaverstone Bay, Ontario – August 2004. “Great scenery and wild game hunting: Mice (11), Frogs (12), Perch (7).”
Worst Trip: Nantahala River, North Carolina – July 2001. “It rained hard on Sunday morning while we were packing up.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
Nantahala River, North Carolina – July 2001. Listening to the mating of an amorous couple during a NOC trip on the Nantahala.”
Dumbest Thing I Took On The Trail:
“A cooler of hard boiled eggs to keep up with the Atkins diet.”

Gator Girl

Why The Name? She caught an alligator while fishing on a spring trip in South Carolina.
Born: Kharkov, Ukraine
Resides:
Charlottesville, Virginia
Best Trip:
Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina – April 2000. “It was a tough hike, but the views were beautiful.”
Worst Trip:
Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina – April 2000. “There really isn’t a worst trip, but it sure was cold and windy on Siler Bald the second night we were on the trail.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
“Catching an alligator with a fishing pole.”

The Gomite

Why The Name? Some ladies in college dubbed he and his twin brother, “The Gomites”.
Born:
Charleston, West Virginia
Resides:
Beckley, West Virginia
Best Trip:
Chimney Rock State Park, North Carolina – October 1989. “It snowed but we had a huge fire and lots of ladies to keep us warm. And then there was the game ending question in “I Never.”
Worst Trip:
Rod Hollow Shelter, Virginia – May 1996. “BirdShooter tried to make me eat macaroni with a locust in it.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
Appalachian Trail, Virginia – May 1996. “We stopped at Papa Nick’s Restaurant at Ashley Gap and a female thru-hiker called me a p**** because I was sore after hiking ten miles.”
Dumbest Thing I Took On The Trail:
“Nike tennis shoes/canvas hiking boots. They tore up my feet.”

Hawkeye

Why The Name? He’s just waiting for you to puncture a lung so he can break out his wilderness medical kit.
Born:
Towson, Maryland
Resides:
Charlotte, North Carolina
Best Trip:
Grayson Highlands State Park, Virginia – March 1994. “Wide open meadows, wild horses and great views. This is a cool place.”
Worst Trip:
Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina – March 1993. “Soul Glow and I hiked down to the Linville River but nearly lost the trail in the dark. We ended up backtracking to the forest road to wait for Slawdog and BirdShooter who didn’t show until after 9pm and we ended up pitching camp in the parking area.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
“Bushwacking along the Linville River. You call that a trail??”

The Helmet

the_helmet.jpg (443290 bytes) Why The Name? In cold weather, he has a favorite lid that looks more like a 1920’s era football helmet.
Born: Englewood, New Jersey
Resides: Decatur, Georgia
Best Trip: John Muir Trail – Summer 2006. 200+ miles with outstanding views every step of the way.
Worst Trip: Shepard State Park, Palmetto Nature Trail – Winter 2008. “BirdShooter had never hiked in Mississippi, so we took a break from the casinos and headed out for a short day hike. We would have been better served losing money at blackjack. This was a muddy bogg of a hike with no worthwhile views.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment: Isle Royal National Park, Michigan – Summer 2008. Practically tripping over a moose during our 2008 hike in Isle Royale National Park.”
Dumbest Thing I Took On The Trail: “Fifteen pounds of unnecessary gear carried during my first multi-day hike. I ended up stashing the equipment by a road crossing and picked it up later.”

The Iceman

the_ferryman.jpg (443290 bytes) Why The Name? He was cool as ice when things got rough in Denali. When he sat chin deep in a creek full of melt from a nearby snow field, that cinched it for us.
Born:
Parsippany, New Jersey
Resides: Parsippany, New Jersey
Best Trip:
Denali National Park, Alaska – July 1995. “I could see the lips on that grizz. That’s something you never forget.”
Worst Trip:
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming – July 1996. “Those mosquitoes had wings like a bird.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
Denali National Park, Alaska – July 1995. “Having my Aqua Socks washed off my feet in the raging Toklat River at 10pm our first day in the backcountry.”
Dumbest Thing I Took On The Trail: “The Agua Socks … thanks for the tip, Slawdog.”

The Joker

the_joker.jpg (443290 bytes) Why The Name? When things were really bad during the Denali trip, he still had everyone laughing.
Born: Springfield, Massachusetts
Resides:
New York City, New York
Best Trip:
Chattooga National Scenic River, Georgia – June 2000. “It was an easy hike with some cool waterfalls and good campsites.”
Worst Trip:
Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina – April 1995. “Bushwacking up the mountain in hot fleece pants and Tevas after we lost the trail at 9pm was no fun in the dark.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina – October 1996. “Trying to sleep on a bald in Western North Carolina with no tent, a broken zipper on my sleeping bag, 20 degree temps, and heavy winds.”
Dumbest Thing I Took On The Trail:
“an electric toothbrush”

The Kidd

the_kidd.jpg (443290 bytes) Why The Name: It’s certainly not for his resemblance to “Billy The Kid”.
Born:
Richmond, Virginia
Resides: Atlanta, Georgia
Best Trip:
Glacier National Park, Montana – July 1992. “Glacier has some amazing scenery and wildlife. I’ve never seen that many animals in the wilderness.”
Worst Trip:
Foothills Trail, South Carolina – July 2001. “It got monotonous at times – limited views, low and flat terrain. We also had a day of heavy rain and thunderstorms.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
“Hearing a moose the first night I ever slept in a tent .”

Leehz

Why The Name? It’s a nickname that’s a trailname by default. Thank an old roommate from Tennessee for that one.
Born:
Whitehouse, New Jersey
Resides:
Charlotte, North Carolina
Best Trip:
Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina – November 1994. “The hike into the gorge was easy and we had a large group which was a lot of fun around the campfire.”
Worst Trip: Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina – May 1993. “We lost the trail a few times and had to do some bushwacking (past a snake in the trail that we later realized was dead).”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina – August 1992. “When Slawdog joyously admired the view from the privy near the Cable Gap shelter.”

Mackie

mackie.jpg (443290 bytes) Why The Name? It’s a nickname that’s a trail name by default.
Born:
Roanoke, Virginia
Resides:
Richmond, Virginia
Best Trip:
Glacier National Park, Montana – July 1996. “Glacier rocked! Picture postcards in every direction.”
Worst Trip:
Isle Royal National Park, Michigan – July 1996. “I wasn’t particularly happy that day in Isle Royal National Park sporting a sub-par rain jacket, but there’s no worst trip.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
Isle Royal National Park, Michigan – July 1996. “Getting rained on all day at Isle Royale in that jacket and sitting in the canoe trying to fish made me colder than a frost-bitten witch’s teet.”
Dumbest Thing I Took On The Trail:
“A Destiny’s Child designer Thermarest. It was too booty-licious to sleep well.”

Monodeep

moonodeep Why The Name? It’s a nickname that’s a trail name by default.
Born:
Calcutta, India
Resides:
Atlanta, Georgia
Best Trip:
Beaverstone Bay, Ontario – August 2003. “An awesome trip and a beautiful place. It’s great to get away from it all in such a remote area in Northern Canada.”
Worst Trip:
Nantahala River, North Carolina – July 2000. “I had a great time until around midnight when the camp host began to hassle us on a regular basis.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
Nantahala River, North Carolina – July 2001. “Waking up and finding a dead copperhead in front of my tent.”

Muscle Jim

Muscle Jim Why The Name? He’s all muscle and available for hire if you need a personal trainer.
Born:
California, Dude!
Resides:
Charlotte, North Carolina
Best Trip:
Beaverstone Bay, Canada. “Frankly, it doesn’t matter what year. They are all good.”
Worst Trip:
Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina – July 2004. “Good for me, bad for The Camel. He split his head open.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
Beaverstone Bay, Canada. “It happened on drifferent trips, but seeing a bear and then a moose only a few feet from our van while we were driving in to Killarney, Ontario.”

The Operator

the_operator.jpg (443290 bytes) Why The Name? He’s smooth with the ladies, especially on backpacking trips.
Born: Boston, Massachusetts
Resides: Atlanta, Georgia
Best Trip:
Foothills Trail, North Carolina – January 2001. “We had single digit temps that night, but The Camel stoked up a mean fire.”
Worst Trip:
Blood Mountain Wilderness, Georgia – November 2002. “Wet wood made for an excessively smoky campsite.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina – December 2001. “Wild Turkey’s woke us up around 7am in the morning. They can make some racket.”

Oskie

oskie.jpg (443290 bytes) Why The Name? To make a long story short? it came from his hometown CFL football team the Hamilton Tiger Cats … cheer!
Born:
Hamilton, Ontario (Canada ? eh!)
Resides: Warwick, New York
Best Trip:
100 Mile Wilderness, Maine – September 1995. “In ’95 I revisited the 100 Mile Wilderness and Mt. Katahdin to finish the AT with my bud Johnny Reb who had to drop-out in ’94.”
Worst Trip:
Chattahoochee National Forest, Georgia – March 1994. “Day four of my AT Thru-Hike with both knees swelling and the 50 degree rain falling … all the gray day long!!!!!!!!!.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
near Grayson Highlands State Park, Virginia – May 1995. “Beer, pizza and more beer while waiting out the rain in a Pizza Hut in Abingdon, Va.”.
Dumbest Thing I Took On The Trail:
“A 7000 cubic inch backpack.”

The Ox

the_ox.jpg (443290 bytes) Why The Name? He’s strong as an Ox and can go forever no matter how difficult the terrain.
Born:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Resides:
Atlanta, GA
Best Trip:
Glacier National Park, Montana – July 1998. “Lots of wildlife, a beautiful place.”
Worst Trip:
Cohutta Wilderness, Georgia – August 1988. “Chestnut Lead Trail – a very short but extremely steep hike. The fact that I was pushing 210 lbs, had smokers cough, and was hung over made it excruciating. The obligatory 50 lb. pack didn’t help either.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
Glacier National Park, Montana – July 1998. “Running for my life from mountain goats in Glacier”.
Dumbest Thing I Took On The Trail:
“Quaaludes .. kidding.”

Pixie

pixie.jpg (443290 bytes) Why The Name? It was a gift from The Camel.
Born: Atlanta, Georgia
Resides:
Atlanta, Georgia
Best Trip:
Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina – June 2002. “It was the perfect distance, not too long (but uphill enough where I felt I got some exercise) and we got there in enough time to relax and watch the sunset.”
Worst Trip
: White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire – July 2002. “The decent from Mt Washington was very difficult in the fog and mist – too many slippery rocks.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment: Bartram Trail, Georgia – April 1997. “We had rain, thunder, and lightening and had to get up at 5am to evacuate the bald for fear of getting struck. We sat in the rain for an hour just down the mountain in the pitch black until the lightening passed.”

Pocahontas

pocahontas.jpg (443290 bytes) Why The Name? Let’s just say she didn’t exactly lead ALE straight off the mountain at Looking Glass Rock in April 2000.
Born:
Stanton, Virginia
Resides:
Charlotte, North Carolina
Best Trip:
Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina – April 2000. “It was cold and even snowed the first night, but it was my first multi-day trip and the views from the summit were great.”
Worst Trip: Mt. Mitchell State Park, North Carolina – May 2001. “I was the only one that didn’t get injured climbing down from Mt. Mitchell. That was a terrible decent.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
“I hiked out solo in the Shinning Rock Wilderness as the sun set (since I had a previous commitment that night). It was liberating.”

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Red Eye

red_eye.jpg (136287 bytes) Why The Name? He drank the “Red Eye” (beer and tomato juice) with some locals at the Calgary Stampede in Alberta and later destroyed them in a game of pool.
Born: Macon, Georgia
Resides:
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Best Trip:
Glacier National Park, Montana – July 1998. “Fishing, wildlife, scenery….that place had it all.”
Worst Trip:
Salmo-Priest Wilderness, Washington – July 1998. “It was a pretty spot, but getting out of that canyon was some serious grunt work – plus I had blisters that tore me up.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
Glacier National Park, Montana – July 1998. “Watching “The Ox” run for his life from mountain goats in Glacier.”
Dumbest Thing I Took On The Trail: “I’d have to say that huge 35mm camera with the 12″ long zoom lens.”

Rockhopper

rockhopper.jpg (443290 bytes) Why The Name? His dexterity on the rock is quite impressive.
Born:
Chimkent, Kazakhstan
Resides:
Boston, Massachusetts
Best Trip:
Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina – March 2000. “Great views, great group, an all around great time.”
Worst Trip:
Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina – April 2000. “There weren’t any backpacking trips I didn’t like, but the one on the Appalachian Trail was better than Pisgah.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina – April 2000. “Almost freezing in the Pisgah National Forest.”
Dumbest Thing I Took On The Trail: “Cash money. It doesn’t do you much good out there.”

The Rooster

rooster.jpg (443290 bytes) Why The Name? When he wakes up in the morning his hair stands up like a rooster’s.
Born: Atlanta, Georgia
Resides:
Atlanta, Georgia
Best Trip:
Blood Mountain, Georgia – November 2002. “Blood Mountain had a good vibe and great views when I did a solo hike to the summit early in the morning in 20 degree weather.”
Worst Trip:
Chattahoochee National Forest, Georgia – November 2002. “I froze my nards off during the night.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
“Getting smoked like a salmon around a campfire on a cold night in the Chattahoochee National Forest.”

The Seeker

the_seeker.jpg (443290 bytes) Why The Name? Have you ever heard that song by “The Who”?
Born:
Beaufort, South Carolina
Resides:
Wilmington, North Carolina
Best Trip:
Philmont National Scout Ranch, New Mexico – July 1984. “Mt. Baldy – that hike was a bad muttha. I was steady paced but loved breaking out of the treeline all alone. The view was incredible.”
Worst Trip:
Linville Gorge, North Carolina – August 1992. “There were lots of people on the trail that weekend – too crowded.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment: Grayson Highlands State Park – October 1995. “Getting hit by a blizzard in the Mt. Rogers Recreational Area in mid-October.”
Dumbest Thing I Took On the Trail?
“I didn’t take it, but I loaded up “Soul Glow” with a can of peaches. They were tasty. He was pissed.”

The Senator

Why The Name? If you ever hike with him on the trail you’ll swear he’s running for public office.
Born: Atlanta, Georgia
Resides:
Atlanta, Georgia
Best Trip:
Chilkoot Trail, Alaska – July 2001. “Two countries, two Canadian provinces, one US state, a simultaneous summit and border crossing, and every landscape possible from swamps, dunes, scree, to high alpine snow – a high groove factor.”
Worst Trip:
Blood Mountain Wilderness, Georgia – July 1998. “It was really cold, wet, and my pack never felt right. I had hot spots on my feet and was really out of shape.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment: “I was crossing Sweatwater Lake on Cumberland Island and was shin deep in pitch black water. I heard grunts then saw a fourteen foot alligator. It got the heart rate going.”

The Sheik

the_sheik.jpg (443290 bytes) Why The Name? He’s a towel head but it kept the sun off his neck in Yellowstone when it fried us for four days in mid-September.
Born:
Orlando, Florida
Resides: Atlanta, Georgia
Best Trip:
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming – August 2002 (Snake River). “Our camp was right on the Snake River with stream rising from some hot springs and great view from our site.”
Worst Trip: Yellowstone National Park – Wyoming – September 2002 (Heart Lake). “We hiked ten miles to get to Heart Lake. I was a hurtin’ unit when we arrived.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment: “I had a group of Scouts out in North Georgia and we had one guy who about tried to cough up a lung to get out of hiking that day. The sound was frightening.”

Sikle

sikle.jpg (443290 bytes) Why The Name? It’s the best a college professor could do in pronouncing his last name.
Born:
St. Joseph, Michigan
Resides:
Charlotte, North Carolina
Best Trip:
Linville Gorge Wilderness, North Carolina – October 1994. “It was my first real hike and there were lots of cool folks present.”
Worst Trip:
Chattooga River, Georgia – June 2000. “The scenery was not memorable and the ad hoc campsite was not great either – a very ho hum trip.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
Denali National Park, Alaska – July 2000. “Hiking within fifty yards of everyone in Alaska, but not seeing them for long stretches since the brush was so high and dense.”

Sister

sister.jpg (443290 bytes) Why The Name? During her first visit to college, she was anointed as “Sister” by some freshman suitemates.
Born:
Zanesville, Ohio
Resides:
Greenville, South Carolina
Best Trip:
Caesars Head State Park, South Carolina – April 1999. “My first trip we had a rigorous hike out of a steep ravine, but the accomplishment and view from the top made it worth it.”
Worst Trip:
Chattahoochee National Forest, Georgia – September 2002. “We hiked on the Springer Mountain Access Trail in the pouring rain.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
Mount Mitchell State Park, North Carolina – May 2001. “It’s hard to forget Pocohontas who got sick outside my tent door. Biz’s trail sweater was pretty memorable as well.”

Slawdog

slawdog.jpg (443290 bytes) Why The Name? It’s a college nickname that’s a trail name by default.
Born:
Raleigh, North Carolina
Resides:
Montpelier, Virginia
Best Trip:
Denali National Park, Alaska – July 1995. “It was rugged but it was real and that’s what I call solitude.”
Worst Trip:
Linville Gorge Wilderness North Carolina – April 1993. “There’s no such thing, but if I had to name one … that’d be it. That dirt road (that we took to the trailhead) was hell bent on destroying my Accord”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
Denali National Park, Alaska – July 1995. “Watching a grizzly follow us across the Toklat River after we reached the gravel bank on the other side.”
Dumbest Thing I Took On The Trail: “A large hatchet.”

Sloaner

sloaner.jpg (443290 bytes)

Why The Name? It’s a nickname that’s a trailname by default.
Born: Roanoke, Virginia
Resides:
Charlotte, North Carolina
Best Trip:
White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire – September 1994. “The first and flat half of the White Mt National Forest where we still had non iron-flavored water.”
Worst Trip:
White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire – September 1994. “Climbing the Whites in total fog and 40 mph wind and rain … no fun.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
“Meeting one of BirdShooter’s Appalachian Trail friends in New Hampshire who declared his p**** was pierced and volunteered to prove it.”

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Smoky

smoky.jpg (443290 bytes) Why The Name? He reduced some pack weight by torching his clothes on a trip in Alaska. Smoky was also tracked in the distance by watching the occasional cloud of smoke from his cigarettes. (Uh….that was a cigarette, right?)
Born:
Gallipolis, Ohio
Resides:
Charlotte, North Carolina
Best Trip:
Shinning Rock Wilderness, North Carolina – October 2000. “Cool place and easy access. I especially enjoyed “The Camel” comedy routine late night around the campfire.”
Worst Trip:
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona – September 2001. “I seriously considered paying the $3000 for a helicopter to evacuate me.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
Denali National Park, Alaska – July 2000. “Watching “CA” chase his boots down the Teklanika River in Alaska.”

Soul Glow

Why The Name? In his day, he was a big fan of hair care products.
Born: Richmond, Virginia
Resides: New York City, New York
Best Trip:
Great Smoky Mountain National Park, October 1992. “My first multi-day backpacking trip. We had frost on the ground but the Smokies are great in the fall”
Worst Trip:
Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina – March 1993. “We hiked in the dark and lost the trail so we headed back to the parking area to camp for the night.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
Great Smoky Mountain National Park, November 1992. “BirdShooter went to take a leak at Kephart Shelter in the Smokies and was convinced he saw a bear. “Dude, Bear!” It turned out to be a raccoon.”

Tamalama

Why The Name? It’s a nickname that is a trail name by default.
Born:
Gastonia, North Carolina
Resides:
Charlotte, North Carolina
Best Trip:
Grayson Highlands State Park, March 1994. “It was cold and there was snow on the ground in places, but the area is very pretty and there were wild ponies wandering in the meadows near the trail.”
Worst Trip:
Great Smoky Mountain National Park, August 1992. “Someone slashed two of my tires in the parking area and Leehz’s car broke down on the way to the trailhead.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
Great Smoky Mountain National Park, August 1992. “When I got back to my car at Yellow Creek Gap and I had two flat tires and only one spare in the trunk. Learning to play Euchre was also pretty memorable that weekend.”

Therm Rider

Therm Rider Why The Name? He rode a Thermarest down a waterfall on Panther Creek in North Georgia.
Born:
Atlanta, Georgia
Resides:
Sandy Springs, Georgia
Best Trip:
Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Georgia – June 2002. “I can see the ridge of the A.T. from my family’s cabin and hiked it for the first time.”
Worst Trip:
Rough Ridge Trail, Cohutta Mountains, Georgia – July 2004. “The weather was bad and I slipped on a wet rock, fell, and bruised both knees. When the sun finally came out I almost stepped on a rattlesnake.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
Rincon Area, Costa Rica – August 2004. “I spotted several howler monkeys and a sloth climbing a tree. Then later that day, a group of pezotes chased me to my car.”

Wagonhammer

Wagonhammer Why The Name? You’ll have to offer him a cocktail around the campfire for the story on this one.
Born:
Atlanta, Georgia
Resides:
Marietta, Georgia
Best Trip:
Conasauga River Trail, Cohutta Wilderness, Georgia – A great place in the summer or fall. It always satisfies.”
Worst Trip:
Standing Indian, North Carolina. “This was my first trip and I hiked up the mountain with an army duffel bag, then got injured when I fell off the backside of Standing Indian.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
Standing Indian, North Carolina. “On this same trip, I put my hand and face right near a giant snake, then we were attacked by gigantic flies that nearly carried away our dinner.

WaterDog

waterdog.jpg (443290 bytes) Why The Name? He was fearless during the frequently waist-deep fords of Slickrock Creek in the Nantahala National Forest of the Joyce-Kilmer Wilderness.
Born:
Asheville, North Carolina
Resides:
San Francisco, California
Best Trip:
Sierra National Forest – Mott Lake, California – August 2005. “It was a rough climb with altitude, but the sights and scenery over 10,000 feet at Mott Lake was well worth the effort.”
Worst Trip:
Joyce-Kilmer Slickrock Creek Wilderness, North Carolina – August 2004. “The bushwacking and efforts to find the ridge trail were very frustrating.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
“Falling behind The Ox and getting ahead of BirdShooter on the trail….I thought I was lost in wilderness.”

The Weasel

the_weasel.jpg (443290 bytes) Why The Name? His father seemed to think he had “weasel-like” tendencies.
Born:
Zanesville, Ohio
Resides: Atlanta, Georgia
Best Trip:
Philmont National Scout Ranch, New Mexico – 1984. “A mega hike with lots of variety.”
Worst Trip:
Tusquitee Bald, North Carolina – June 1999. “If this is backpacking, count me out.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
Tusquitee Bald, North Carolina – June 1999. “At Tusquitee Bald when I realized that no one had hiked this trail for a long time.”
Dumbest Thing I Took On The Trail?: “A map for the Tusquitee Bald hike. We couldn’t find the trail let alone our position on the map.”

White Lightening

White Lightening Why The Name? No .. unfortunately he’s not a moonshiner, but he sure does set a mean pace on the Trail.
Born:
Van Wert, Ohio
Resides: Greenville, South Carolina
Best Trip:
Kings Mountain National Historic Park, South Carolina – April 2006. “I hiked four miles solo with my dog (Katie) to meet up with the group.”
Worst Trip:
Chattahoochee National Forest, Len Foote Hike Inn, Georgia – Summer 2009. “On the hike in to the Lodge there was a monsoon, but at least we didn’t have to set-up camp tonight.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
Gorges State Park, Lake Jocassee, South Carolina – August 2008. “Seeing a black bear cross the trail about 20 years ahead of us.”
Dumbest Thing I Took On The Trail?: “A headlamp with dead batteries.”

Wild Turkey

Why The Name? It was a cold night in the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Creek Wilderness when she earned the trail name. The trip report has all the details.
Born: Atlanta, Georgia
Resides:
Atlanta, Georgia
Best Trip:
Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina – December 2001. “This was a tough hike and it rained at night, but we had a lot of fun around the campfire.”
Worst Trip:
Joyce-Kilmer Slickrock Creek Wilderness, North Carolina – October 2001. “It was a cold and wet hike, but things improved in the evening at the campsite.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment: Joyce-Kilmer Slickrock Creek Wilderness, North Carolina – October 2001. “When some campsite neighbors literally stumbled into us at our site at Stratton Bald.”

World Wide Wanderer

World Wide Wanderer Why The Name? He traveled the world for a few years when he was younger, and still gets the itch to this day.
Born:
Yokohama, Japan
Resides:
Atlanta, Georgia
Best Trip:
The Perch, Georgia – November 2006. “One of the greatest places on Earth, and my Zen place.”
Worst Trip:
“Getting Denge Fever in Thailand. It took me out for nine days.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
Chitwan National Park, Nepal – “Watching a cobra nail a mouse above my hammock while spending the night in the park.”

Yukon Matt

yukon_matt.jpg (443290 bytes) Why The Name? He took immediately to the Yukon on the Chilkoot Trail. (Note the poker face to the left).
Born:
Rabun County, Georgia
Resides:
Atlanta, Georgia
Best Trip:
Chilkoot Trail, Alaska – July 2001. “Historic, diverse, and challenging.”
Worst Trip: Approach Trail, Georgia – July 1994. “Lot’s of up and down with no views. It’s a tough hike to boot.”
Most Memorable Trail Moment:
Chilkoot Trail, Alaska – July 2001. “Seeing an old ladies ass at the crack of dawn …. literally. That’s something you don’t easily forget.”

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